my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

Posts tagged ‘quilts of valor’

Sewing Day

Once a month, my mom’s quilting guild hosts a sewing day at a local Bingo hall.  It’s a great space with plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  And there is a great Italian restaurant a block away so we had yummy Stromboli for lunch.  I wish I were retired too so I could join the group more than once a year!

I packed three bags…one is my sewing machine and then I have four different projects to work on.   image

First, I added borders to the leftover Swoon blocks and brought the backing up to size.  I hope to get this quilted before school starts in a few weeks.    image

Then I worked on some HST for the Starry Night for Josh QOV quilt-along.


The tables were a little too low for comfortable cutting, and I didn’t have the correct size ruler and mat,  so I set this project aside.  Sometimes it is just not worth it to “make do” especially when there is new fabric to play with! image I opened a couple jelly rolls and started a new design.  Unfortunately, I did not think ahead more than one step, so I spent some time ripping while making the strip sets!

It was a lovely day, but now I am back to longarm work.  I have another Aviatrix Medallion on the machine and we are expecting summer thunderstorms as remnants of Hurricane Dolores pass by.


Next Up

I have been hopping from project to project this summer.  Here is what received the most attention this week:

image I loaded a customer quilt on the longarm.  I am using a pantograph.  The quilt is Fire Island Hosta by Judy Niemeyer.

I showed the Swoon quilt in my last post about unfinished objects.  I got the borders on it to bring it to the required size for a QOV.


Now I need to finish the back. This is the part I tend to overlook, which really slows down my progress.  I have a stack of quilt tops ready to be finished, but if I don’t have a backing, then the longarm sits idle while I move on to the next piecing project.  Talk about a Catch-22!!  If I get the back ready with the top it will speed up the whole process.  Easy enough in theory, let’s see if I can make it happen consistently.

I am using four leftover Swoon blocks for the back, and I have plenty of yardage in my stash to bring it to size.


I did get the two wall-hangings quilted and they are ready for binding.


I am sure I can find something on TV this afternoon for background noise while I sew!  What are you working on today?

Time for borders

I sew many quilts for charity, mainly Quilts of Valor.  (When there is another quilter in the family and only one other sibling, there are not many in-house requests, LOL!!)  Back in January one of my students asked me to perform in the staff talent show at my high school.  Since I prefer to sing in a choir, I thought of a way to showcase my true love. I set up a machine backstage, and introduced myself to the audience and explained that I was going to take the long strip of fabric (prepared jelly roll strips) and turn it into a quilt top.  While the other acts performed, I put the pedal to the metal.  Phew, I was worried that I would have to stop short due to time constraints, but the show director added one extra song, and I cut the threads just as that piece ended.

TA DA!!!image

I love the combination of the lighter blue and the different neutrals in this line from Moda. (I think it is called “Red White and Free”)

I also had a sewing day with students from the National Honor Society, and they made the blocks for this Yellow Brick Road quilt:image

I had the thought to use both tops to make a reversible quilt, but I talked myself out of that.  It seems like cheating when I can easily make two quilts and honor two of our dedicated service members.

My traditional jelly roll top finished at 51×63, which is too small for QOV (they request a minimum of 55×65, and the preferred size is 60×80).  So, I found some red fabric in my stash and added another 2″ border and on my last shopping spree I found that great navy blue dotted fabric.  I loved it so much I bought the end of the bolt, about 2.5 yards!!  I am adding a 4″ border of blue so the quilt should end up about 63x 75.imageI will have to dig deeper in the stash to find pieces for a backing, and then I have the perfect pantograph in mind for the quilting.  I hope to have this done in a week or so in order to share it with the students who organized the staff talent show before school ends.  By the way, I got a cute Santa trophy for “Most Unexpected Talent.”  It was a fun night!

A finished QOV

Today is Quilts of Valor National Sew Day, and I have done my part.image

I started this top during the Quilts of Valor New Year’s Day 2014 Sit-n-Sew.  Looks like I can get a lot accomplished if I quilt on the first of the month!  Actually, I made the blocks throughout 2013 using Sophie’s patterns from Block Lotto.  (This year, she has even drafted a full pattern along with the blocks, so everyone can join the fun in the Mod-Mod QAL!)

The blocks were an unusual 6″ x 9″, so the center was a long rectangle.  I knew I needed borders to bring it to the QOV officially recommend size of 60×80.  I decided to add 6″ pinwheels to the right and left, and just a 3″ strip across the top and bottom.  I found a great patriotic print called “Stars and Stripes Bandana” to use as the outer border.

I will put this one at the top of my “to-be-quilted” pile and maybe during Spring Break in March I can do the final steps and get this in the mail to a worthy recipient.  Thanks to all who serve in our military!

If you want more information about Quilts of Valor, click here.

Finished under the wire

2013-12-31 11.20.18I started these Crossed Stars on January 1 as a project for Quilts of Valor.  Many quilters were participating in a New Year’s Day Sit-n-Sew.  I got a few blocks done then continued the project throughout the year.  I used each fabric three times…as the star, the background and as the cross.  It was a fun pattern, originally shared with the Block Lotto by Sophie Wood.

I made 42 blocks and then added the one inch yellow sashing.  I needed another border to make it a decent size for Quilts of Valor.  Their minimum is 55 by 65, but I prefer something around 60 by 70.  This one ended up at 65 by 75. 2013-12-31 11.20.59I quilted it with a pantograph called Square Spiral.  It is a little bit tricky to get perfectly straight lines!  Isn’t wonderful how well those not-so-straight lines show up in tan thread on a red background?!?  Yikes!  Oh well, the texture is wonderful and it gets that nice crinkly look after a spin in the washing machine.

I need to make a pillowcase then ship this out!  You can get more information about this great organization at the Quilts of Valor Foundation website.

I have a new project in mind for the 2014 New Year’s Day Sit-n-Sew…again thanks to Sophie and the Block Lotto, but I will share that tomorrow 😉  Enjoy the celebrations tonight!

More Moda Stars

My latest project for Quilts of Valor was to quilt a top made from Moda Stars.  The red stars were donated to the Moda fabric company last year when they published a block pattern and asked quilters across the country to sew “Just One Star.”  Not surprisingly, they were flooded with blocks, and they sent hundreds out to volunteers to turn into full quilts.  I contacted a woman nearby and she paired the blocks with some other patriotic fabric and brought the top to me to finish.I did a simple meander around each star, a freehand feather in the alternate blocks, and a wavy leaf in the border.

I pieced the back from some other patriotic fabrics.  Now to bind it, add the label and give it a wash.  I hope all the quilters used the right kind of pen to sign their blocks…the last one of these that I made ended up with an ugly black spot when some ink ran.  Bummer!

If you have the time to make and donate a quilt for our wounded soldiers, please visit the QOV website and click on the “Request a Destination” button.  We need to send out over 30 quilts each week to meet the need.

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